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Pass That NCLEX-RN Exam!

It's the end of the final semester of your nursing training. You've finished all of your clinical hours, nurse shadowing, homework assignments, readings, and exams -- well, all of your exams except for one: the NCLEX-RN. But don't let your anxiety, sweaty palms, and panic-induced headaches get the better of you. You have made it far in your nursing training, so rather than worrying, buckle down and prepare yourself for the final exam that will result in your much-deserved nursing license. 

Before anything else, ensure that you qualify to take the NCLEX-RN examination and that you submit all of the necessary paperwork on time. All states will require you to complete an approved nursing program before you can sit for the examination. After you have completed your nursing education - or are near completing it - you can contact your state's nursing board to obtain a licensure application. You will need to submit an authorization to test (ATT) form as well in order to schedule an appointment to take the NCLEX-RN.

Be sure to begin preparing for your NCLEX-RN well ahead of the scheduled examination date. A month or two of preparation is ideal, as there is plenty of material to review and relearn, particularly the more advanced topics and topics that were covered early on in your nursing education. A good study guide can be helpful as well. There are plenty of websites that offer NCLEX-RN guides, such as Kaplan's NCLEX tutorials, but you can also invest in a physical book to help you study. One of the best books is the Saunders NCLEX Review, which provides readers with 4,000 practice questions as well as an answer key. However, keep in mind that you do not absolutely need to buy any type of guide to help you study, though it can be a valuable tool. 

Some of the things you should focus your studies on are normal lab and test results, as this can help you a great deal when trying to work through questions about medical problems or resolved medical problems. Also, remember proper nursing procedures for all types of cases. Do not jump into action before assessing the situation and problem presented, as this can result in deducted points. In addition, keep patient safety strictly in mind. 

During the test-taking process, remember to manage your time. In the questions, look for words that establish priority, such as "most," "first," and "best," as this can help you focus your attention on the most important part of the question. When you are not sure about how to respond to a question because the textbooks said one thing, but you experienced another during your clinicals, always err on the side what the textbook told you. The NCLEX-RN is there to test you on your strict textbook knowledge of the nursing profession, as this is the foundation of everything else you will do in your career. 

Above all else, relax and allow yourself plenty of time to review, study, and rest. Only then can you truly prepare yourself for the rigors of the NCLEX-RN examination.